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China Under Fire for ‘Not Getting Food’ to Olympic Athletes



The men's ice hockey coach for Finland accused China of not respecting one of his player’s human rights. ((AP/Mark Schiefelbein)
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“These are exactly the kind of things we have to address. It’s a duty. It’s a responsibility. We have to make sure that the expectations are met,” said Christophe Dubi, the International Olympic Committee’s executive director for the games.

On Sunday, Finland’s men’s ice hockey team coach, Jukka Jalonen, accused China of not respecting one of his player’s human rights while he was in isolation following a positive Covid-19 test, claiming hockey player Marko Anttila was “not getting food” and was under immense stress, according to Reuters.

The Finnish team doctor said China has forced Anttila, who tested positive 18 days ago, to remain in Covid-19 isolation despite no longer being considered infectious.

In addition, Russian biathlete Valeria Vasnetsova said she couldn’t stomach most of the food she was given and survived mainly on a few pieces of pasta. Soon after the Instagram post, a team representative posted a picture showing what he said was improved food, including salmon, cucumbers, sausages, and yogurt.

Isolated Athletes Can Now Order Food

Dubi said Sunday that organizers will work to ensure “everything is perfect” for athletes waiting to be released. Han Zirong of the Beijing Organizing Committee also noted that athletes who test positive will now be able to order food from the Olympic Village and have it delivered to their isolation rooms.

As part of China’s efforts to prevent the virus from spreading during the Games, everyone in the so-called Olympic bubble has to take daily PCR tests. Those who are confirmed to be positive go to an isolation facility until they’re cleared for discharge, either through tests showing they’re negative or a review by a panel of medical experts.

Dubi’s comments came after complaints about the hotels where athletes must isolate. The German delegation called the situation “unreasonable” and said rooms should be bigger and cleaner after Eric Frenzel, a three-time gold medalist in Nordic combined, tested positive.

So far, organizers say 363 people inside the Olympic bubble have tested positive for COVID-19. In addition to athletes, the figure includes media and team officials.

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